My latest syndicated column was inspired by Five for Fighting singer/songwriter John Ondrasik’s tweet this morning suggesting that President Obama invite former President Bush to join him at Ground Zero on Thursday. Late tonight, word spread that just such an invitation was reportedly extended.
But as my column spells out today, I wish President Bush would reconsider. It’s a missed opportunity for President Obama to move the country forward and upward beyond the pre-9/11, Bush Derangement Syndrome-wracked morass that so many of his fellow travelers would return to in a heartbeat.
Perhaps President Obama will throw in more than just an obligatory nod to his predecessor on Thursday in his absence.
Imagine every “I” replaced with “We.”
Related: Nobody does libspoof better than Iowahawk. Here’s one of his best ever.
Obama’s unity call: Show, don’t tell
by Michelle Malkin
In the spirit of post-bin Laden peace, love, and harmony, President Obama has asked all Americans to “harness” national good will and stand together. The commander-in-chief could practice what he preaches — by inviting President Bush to stand with him at Ground Zero in New York City on Thursday.
It would be an extraordinary – dare I say “unprecedented,” to borrow one of Obama’s favorite words? — act of political maturity, good faith, and transcendent unity against our common jihadi enemies. Tonight, some reported that Obama had invited Bush — who declined. If that’s true, Dubya needs to change his mind — for America’s sake.
Stay with me, folks. Suspend your disbelief, cue John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and wave your olive branches in the air like you just don’t care. Now, picture the uplifting, patriotic, post-partisan scene:
Side by side, the Democratic commander-in-chief and his GOP nemesis would join hands at the former site of the World Trade Center towers; pay heartfelt tribute to the thousands of victims of Osama bin Laden here at home and around the world; and pledge continued support for our military, intelligence, and homeland security personnel at home and around the world.
President Bush would graciously reiterate his congratulations to President Obama for a “momentous achievement” in “the fight against terror.”
President Obama would sincerely reiterate what he told Capitol Hill lawmakers at a dinner Monday night: “Obviously we’ve all had disagreements and differences in the past. I suspect we’ll have them again in the future. But last night, as Americans learned that the United States had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, we you know, I think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for, and what we can achieve, that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics.”
And then, instead of merely paying lip service to this renewed sense of unity, Obama would actually lead from the front.
Imagine the Nobel Peace Prize winner, in front of the entire world that reviled George W. Bush for his post-9/11 response, acknowledging his predecessor’s love of country.
Imagine President Obama acknowledging the daunting challenges that faced Bush-era national security, homeland security, and legal advisers in defending our country against enemy combatants waging asymmetric war.
Imagine President Obama acknowledging President Bush’s unwavering support for the troops and grace under eight years of fire from radical leftists bent on sabotaging every last counterterrorism measure – from immediately arresting thousands of illegal alien fugitives from terror-coddling nations after the attacks, to tearing down the Clinton-era wall between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, to grappling with thorny detention and interrogation policies that bore fruit years after he left office, to weathering
endless cries of “fascist,” “bloodthirsty war-monger,” and vengeful “cowboy.”
Imagine President Obama condemning the unhinged accusations of “war crimes,” “racism,” and “Islamophobia” leveled by progressives at President Bush’s top Pentagon and Justice Department officials over two divisive terms.
Imagine President Obama rising above the din of poll-obsessed liberal opportunists — from Democrat N.Y. Rep. Gary Ackerman (who crowed that bin Laden’s death “was ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment President Bush only fantasized about”), to incoming Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida (who squawked that Obama “deserved credit” in a partisan press release just hours after the bin Laden announcement), to the ladies of ABC’s The View gabfest (who are all ready to cancel the 2012 election and anoint Obama king), to a race-baiting Grist magazine writer who exulted that “We booted the cowboy and elected a black, liberal urbanite, and he’s the one who tracked down the bad guy. It’s just too, too delicious.”
And then, before departing Ground Zero with President Bush, visualize President Obama making clear to the nation that the rally for “unity” should not be used – as “civility” was after the Tucson shooting massacre — as a tool to silence political opponents and squelch dissent.
Yes, you may say that I’m a dreamer. But wasn’t it President Obama who urged us all to “expand our moral imaginations?” Let the healing begin.
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